Post from a new member

Clark AB, Philippines
Beckmann, Clive
Posts: 4
Joined: July 17th, 2013, 8:20 am
Year Enlisted: 1960
Year Discharged: 1964

Post from a new member

Postby Beckmann, Clive » September 2nd, 2013, 10:27 pm

What a nicely done website!

I'm curious as to whether there are any old 2876 GEEIA troops monitoring this chat board?

I was in 2876th GEEIA during 1961-63, but for most of my two years at Clark, GEEIA had me on loan to the 848th AC&W Sqdn. Since 1st Mob was getting all the mobile radar schemes, my career field wasn't in much demand within the 2876th. So it was their way of allowing me to work within my career field, 30332 (Heavy Ground Radar Repairman), which eventually allowed me to successfully attain the 30352 advancement. Being fresh out of a year-long tech school at Keesler AFB, this arrangement was a fortuitous stroke of luck. I lived in the GEEIA barracks, and consequently had the opportunity to know most of the guys who were stationed there at the time.

I worked at the radar site atop Lily Hill, just across the street from the GEEIA barracks, an easy ten minute walk away. The big white bubble housed an AN/FPS-8 search radar, and a TPS-10D height-finder radar was installed on an adjacent steel tower structure. A U-shaped Quonset hut building housed the maintenance shop and operations room, and also a huge break room, the walls of which were papered in Playboy centerfolds. Of course, the coffee pot was always going. Lily Hill and the two radars were visible from most of Clark AB, with the height finder antenna endlessly nodding up and down. (Note: The Lily Hill radar site was deactivated in late 1963)

There was a rotating shift schedule of three swing shifts, then a day off; three mid shifts, then a day off; then three day shifts followed by two days off. I was lucky to be working with a very talented group of technicians and tech-reps, and my training progressed very quickly.

Some time after initial assignment, when the thrill of my new military posting became routine, I acquired a rental getaway in the nearby village of Angeles, a nice 2-bedroom wooden bungalow with corrugated metal roof, nestled amongst a profusion of tropical foliage. I can still close my eyes and hear the sound of rain on that roof. It became my 'fortress of solitude', offering a break from the daily military life. Ah, yes....nostalgia plus.

I have some photos if I can figure out how to post them.

Clive Beckmann
Gilbert, AZ
Beckmann, Clive

Posts: 1
Joined: July 17th, 2013, 9:20 am
Location: United States
Year Enlisted: 1960
Year Discharged: 1964

Pellegrino, Eric
Posts: 33
Joined: November 12th, 2006, 7:38 pm
Year Enlisted: 1962
Year Discharged: 1966

Re: Post from a new member

Postby Pellegrino, Eric » September 4th, 2013, 8:04 pm

Clive - I was there 63-64, Major Huddleston was Commander. I was part of the crew that dismantled the radome on Lily Hill and the one at Wallace Air Station. Looking forward to seeing your photos. Eric Pellegrino

Beckmann, Clive
Posts: 4
Joined: July 17th, 2013, 8:20 am
Year Enlisted: 1960
Year Discharged: 1964

Re: Post from a new member

Postby Beckmann, Clive » September 5th, 2013, 1:51 am

Hi Eric, good to hear from you,

Huddleston was commander during my tenure as well. He must have liked the duty in the PI.

I don't recall the name of the operations officer but he was a Lt Col. I have an amusing story about him:
Just a few weeks after arriving in the squadron, there was a base alert. The Sergeant of the Guard assigned me guard duty on the front entrance to the GEEIA building, a big mistake. That post should go to someone who is able to recognize most folks in the squadron. Anyway, there I stood in fatigues, wearing helmet and brandishing an M-1 carbine (unloaded of course), when I saw a POV pull into one of the parking spaces opposite the entrance. Out jumped a Lt Col who headed straight for the entrance, acting like he owned the place.

I'd been briefed that there was a special squadron on Clark whose sole mission was to send penetrators around the base, trying to gain unauthorized access to sensitive areas/buildings. A favorite trick was to talk their way close enough to the target, then lob a smoke bomb into it. This ruse was at the front of my mind as the Lt Col approached.

I stepped briskly to the curb and held my carbine out to bar his passage....but then had not the slightest idea of what to say or do next. I finally stammered out a request for him to show authorization to enter the building. He gave me an amazed look and asked me why the heck I figured he needed 'authorization'. Since I had no answer, I 'ordered' him to go back and stand next to his car while I called the Sgt of the Guard. I could see his face flushing with what can only be described as incredulous rage...but he complied with my order.

When the Sgt of the Guard appeared, he of course recognized the Lt Col as the Ops Officer and halted before him at attention. The Col proceeded to ream him a second a**hole for putting a newbie on the front entrance. However, at the end of the dressing down, he told the Sgt that I was to be commended for sticking to my guns. Meanwhile, I was standing behind the Sgt, shaking in my brogans!

As a consequence of this stressful event, the Sgt sent me to the day room to spend the rest of the alert watching TV and shooting pool. :-D

Yes, I have photos but don't know how to post them here. If you like, I can send some to your regular email address?

By the way, during the radome removal, did you meet an Airman 1st named John Sullivan from the 848th? After the Lily Hill site was shut down operationally, it continued to exist administratively as an entity. During this period, John became the de facto 'commander' of the 848th AC&W squadron as he was the only one left in the outfit and had to be available to sign papers, etc. Eventually, the site was closed administratively and John shipped out to the 779th Radar Sq in Opheim, MT.....the same organization to which I'd been assigned a few months earlier!

CUL, Eric,

Clive

Pellegrino, Eric
Posts: 33
Joined: November 12th, 2006, 7:38 pm
Year Enlisted: 1962
Year Discharged: 1966

Re: Post from a new member

Postby Pellegrino, Eric » September 26th, 2013, 2:16 pm

Clive- would love to see your pics- epelleg84@aol.com

Pellegrino, Eric
Posts: 33
Joined: November 12th, 2006, 7:38 pm
Year Enlisted: 1962
Year Discharged: 1966

Re: Post from a new member

Postby Pellegrino, Eric » February 8th, 2014, 9:29 am

Clive...don't recall meeting John Sullivan...as you know we all were TDY regularly...


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